Tri-Cities education professor earns Faculty Diversity Award
Johnson earned his Ph.D. in sociocultural/linguistic anthropology at Arizona State University and joined WSU Tri-Cities in 2008. In January, he was recognized as the faculty recipient of WSU’s 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award.
Building authentic relationships
Johnson noted that the Tri-Cities is a culturally and linguistically diverse area. Students of color make up 26.5 percent of WSU Tri-Cities enrollment, making the urban campus in Richland the most diverse campus in the WSU system.
But “diversity” should be seen as encompassing a variety of background experiences, he said.
“Regardless of representing cultural, linguistic, physical ability, sexual or socioeconomic diversity, collaborating with individuals from diverse backgrounds exposes us to different worldviews and heightens our understanding of how to relate to each other,” he said. “Viewing individuals from diverse backgrounds as a resource is a necessary step towards leveling the historically structured and socially ingrained misperceptions that continue to dissuade many students from pursuing a higher education.”
“Supporting diversity and inclusion is fundamentally about building authentic relationships with students and families,” Johnson said.